Admittedly, I’m an Idahoan at heart and am passionate about all Coeur d’Alene has to offer visitors. Our neighboring city of Spokane, however, has a remarkable allure and worthy attraction all its own. The afternoon spent there yesterday, on my first “culinary tour,” was definitely worth repeating!
Not knowing what to expect, I figured a culinary tour would entail huge meals, over indulgence and leaving with the regret of an overly full stomach. This couldn’t have been further from our experience with Savor Spokane, as the food stops were more like fun breaks, well-timed refreshment along our walking tour of the town.
A small group of us were lead on a sight seeing, story telling, history learning, river viewing, culinary tasting, friend making delight of an afternoon. The time passed quickly, as we walked a lovely path along the river, through town and from local restaurant to local restaurant.
Along the way we learned the significance of various art, buildings, people, events and geological structures. Far from stuffy, it was a light-hearted, friendly environment, purposely crafted and energized at each step, by our knowledgeable guide Lesley.
Personally, I will join this tour many times more in the future, bringing local friends and sharing the experience with guests who visit from across the country. Is there anything better? Don’t know, I hear there’s also a wine tour….
A strong wind came up one day in early April, the sun was up and spring was here. The water temperature was still very cold but it was just what I was waiting for. I couldn’t wait to try out my new kayak in the rough waves. At least as rough as it gets here in Idaho.
I loaded up the two boats and we headed out to the lake. In no time at all we were in our boats in paddling out in the waves. We stayed close to shore we knew we weren’t experienced enough to be out there in those conditions. We had a great time splashing around trying not to tip over in the waves that crossed over the bows of our boats. Constant use of our paddles was required to keep the kayak upright and heading in the right direction.
We aimed at the high waves, driving through the one to crash down into the next. The kayaks rode the water well; the long boats would slash in the waves rising over each as the water washed over the bow. As we traversed along the beach, sideways to the waves, the boats would rise and fall with the waves supported by their secondary stability. The rounded bottom allowed the boats to remain in an upright position as we creased wave after wave.
We were soon tired from constantly having to keep ourselves stable using our paddles as quickly as we could to recover from each wave. The water was too cold on this early spring day to take any chances so we stayed close to shore and paddled to and from shore enjoying the splashing and exciting waves. Now anybody that has been in a sea kayak knows that they are very stable once you are in but they can be difficult to get in and out of while staying dry.
We paddled over to the beach having decided that we needed pictures of this great albeit tame adventure. In a moment of genius I decided to try and hand Cheryl my truck keys while still in our boats. I felt things were going well as I was able to fish my keys out of my back pocket and hold them out to Cheryl. Now remember, constant use of our paddles was needed to maintain position and keep the boats heading into the waves.
I took a moment to grab my paddle and position my boat carefully alongside Cheryl who apparently felt she was already on shore enjoying a nice ice tea or lemonade in the summer sun. Forgetting her kayak was not an Adirondack chair she upended the kayak exposing the fine artwork along the keel.
Cheryl came up shocked from the cold water and out of breath. We were only a few feet from shore and in shallow enough water to walk out of. The fun of playing in the water quickly became a lesson in safety. We had been careful to stay close to shore and with the air temperatures well above 70 we were able to continue the fun.
I continued to hit the waves and try to surf my 18 ft sea kayak while Cheryl snapped the pictures we needed to remember that wonderful day.
With the evenings cooling, thoughts turn to Fall…
Some of my favorite memories are those spent with girlfriends catching up, dreaming and dishing over bottles of wine. Cool evenings are ideal, and a spectacular view even better. I recommend October or November in Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls or Sandpoint for beautiful, brisk days and cool, wine tasting nights!
Now that the busy Summer of family activities have wound down, kids are in school and you’ve had a moment to breathe (almost), it’s time to do something for yourself, and reconnect with friends.
A girls’ getaway to North Idaho Wine Country is just what you need, but without putting in all the effort it takes to get something planned. Let us take care of everything, at no cost to you. Give Love of Idaho a shout for the best vacation rental homes available, a free girls’ getaway itinerary and a luxury “designated driver” for Fall 2012. You deserve it, and so do your friends.